Hunger pushes 200 pupils out of class in Kiambu county
More than 200 pupils at Nyacaba Primary School in Juja, Kiambu county, have dropped out of school as a result of biting hunger.
The headteacher George Mimi said most of the learners in the school which has over 1,900 pupils are under the care of their grandparents as their parents either died of HIV/Aids or neglected their roles as a result of alcoholism.
Mimi (pictured) told journalists that most of the affected children have been taking one meal a day or even failed to get anything to eat during the worst days, a situation he said has left them to stay out of class as their counterparts continue to study.
He added that high consumption of illicit brews particularly chang’aa said to be brewed in the rocky terrain, has further deteriorated the situation.
The school head pleaded for the introduction of a sustainable feeding program at the remotely located school to ensure no learner fails to undergo education as a result of hunger.
“There are at least 250 children here whose situation is desperate and need urgent support because of the situation at home. We are appealing to well-wishers to help start a feeding program so that these pupils can stay in school,” said the head teacher.
The dire situation has prompted area leaders led by Nominated MP Trizah Wanjiru to initiate a feeding programme in the school that is located in a semi-arid quarry mining area.
Wanjiru, accompanied by Kiambu Woman Rep Ann Wamuratha distributed relief food to hungry residents and said plans are under way to construct a kitchen at the school to ensure pupils don’t miss classes.
The legislator who was born and raised from the village and is an old girl of the institution pledged to mobilise resources to ensure that learners are well fed to continue with their studies uninterrupted.
“I was touched by the plight of these pupils and within the coming weeks I will ensure there is a feeding programme which we’ll be more sustainable than food donations,” Wanjiru said.
On her part, Wamuratha dismissed the notion that the county is hunger-free saying that like other counties that continue to experience failed rainfall, Kiambu people are equally affected and require relief food.
She said that while the government has tried to distribute relief food, permanent solutions on food security are needed to keep famine at bay even when the rains delay or fail.